Into the Shadow, Through the Portal – Pluto Stations Retrograde at the Libra Lunar Eclipse

libra full moon

Libra Full Moon, collage by Emily

Whoa, Nellie. There’s a lot of wild emotional energy flying around, a lot of uncertainty and chaos, many known and unknown unknowns. Deep breath, my friends. The Aries New Moon on March 30 sparked us into Eclipse season – a six-week period of high-intensity growth and change. And the upcoming peak of the Cardinal Grand Cross, April 20-23, is amping up the pressure.

Eclipse Season serves as a portal into a new reality, which is all well and good, but when you’re IN the portal (like, now), it can be mighty uncomfortable and anxiety-producing. We’re in that awkward in-between stage, the old reality crumbling away while the new reality, the new self, doesn’t even know WTF it is, it’s not yet time to know.

Eclipses ask you to make friends with the dark – the darkness of the mysterious, unknowable Great Mystery, the darkness of your own deep, yucky feelings now erupting to the surface. This is a time for invoking TRUST and COURAGE. Trusting the cycle of death and rebirth, trusting that there WILL be a rebirth, even if you’re currently stuck in the dark and the dying with no signs of new life. The courage to feel your intense feelings, shed another layer, and let go of what wants to end.

lunar eclipseFirst up is next Tuesday’s Lunar Eclipse in Libra (12:44 am Pacific) – a super-potent Full Moon illuminating the parts of yourself you’ve been denying or hiding. The light of consciousness is swallowed by the dark, and the shadow wants to be revealed. The Libran shadow is co-dependence – where are you being “nice” at the expense of being authentic? Where are you sacrificing your desires and vitality to “keep the peace”? Where are you holding back your creativity and individuality because you’re afraid people won’t like you? Where do you wear a mask of caretaking to hide your true self?

Turning up the volume on the shadow-revealing nature of this particular Eclipse, Pluto – God/Goddess of the Underworld – is now stationing, preparing to turn Retrograde on Monday. This activation of Pluto in Capricorn so near the Libra Eclipse asks you to look at the consequences of projecting (Libra) your authority (Capricorn). Are you blaming someone else for your own unhappiness and lack of fulfillment? Who’s the author of your life?

The ongoing opposition between Jupiter in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn – one of the polarities in the Cardinal Cross – uncovers and sheds light on your “parent gods” (Jupiter is god, Cancer and Capricorn are the parenting signs). When you were a child, your parents were your literal creator gods, and your survival depended on pleasing them (or at least not pissing them off excessively), following their rules, adopting their religion/worldview, etc.

jupiterThe Jupiter-Pluto opposition reveals where these parent gods are still hiding out in the deep recesses of your psyche, running the show from behind the scenes. Where are you still playing by your family’s rules? Where are you still playing out your childhood survival strategy of contorting/distorting/suppressing/ignoring your true self? And, asks the Libra Eclipse, how are these parent-god dynamics playing out in current relationships – with your partner, boss, friends, clients, etc.? Are you checking in to see “how you’re doing” by looking outside yourself for other people’s validation and approval?

The Cardinal Cross is so much about daring to be who we really are at a time when we can’t afford not to, and having to shed shed shed all that programming that tells us it’s not safe, it’s not possible, why bother anyway. All hands on deck, please – this is not the time to play small (if there ever was one), not the time to hide out living someone else’s path or purpose. Wise mythologist Michael Meade reminds us that NOT living your purpose is not a “neutral situation” – the gifts you’re not using turn against you and destroy you from within.

Venus plays a starring role this Eclipse Season, as the ruler of both Libra and Taurus – the sign of the upcoming Solar Eclipse on April 28. Throughout this period, Venus is in Pisces (April 5 to May 2), which in its conscious expression opens you to a “higher love” – unconditional acceptance, forgiveness, compassion, ecstasy and oneness. High-vibration Venus in Pisces sees the divine reflected in the other, and sees that “the other” is in fact the self; human relationships become a path to deepening relationship with Source. Shadow Venus in Pisces is the martyr/victim on the altar of love, the delusional romantic, the love addict – projecting god-like powers onto another and then feeling victimized by the power you’ve projected (or, falling prey to the delusion that YOU’RE god and have to save/rescue the other).

chiron in piscesAt the first Eclipse, Venus is sandwiched between Neptune in Pisces and Chiron in Pisces, bringing attention to longer-term planetary themes. How do we use our emotional sensitivity to the massive suffering engendered by the imploding of industrial civilization to encourage healing, evolution and empowerment rather than feeling overwhelmed and getting sucked into depression, addiction and victimization? How can we use our Divine Feminine spiritual connection as fuel for our Sacred Activist selves, rather than a place to escape to and hide out in (as in, the denial and delusion of shadow New Age “spiritual materialism”).

Eclipses stir up the past – people from your past can resurface, old issues come up for reassessment and healing. Eclipses happen every six months, and it’s helpful to look back to what was going on at the previous Eclipses, because similar themes and issues are likely to show up in your life (and on the world stage). Last fall we had a Lunar Eclipse in Aries on October 18, followed by a Solar Eclipse in Scorpio on November 3. What was shifting in your life then? Which buttons were getting pushed? How does that relate to what’s happening now?

19 years ago, in 1995, we had Eclipses at the same degrees of the zodiac (i.e., a Lunar Eclipse at 25 degrees Libra followed by a Solar Eclipse at 8 Taurus). The parts of your chart – houses and (if applicable) planets – activated by the current Eclipses, were activated in April 1995, and similar themes are likely to arise. Something you initiated then – a life direction, project, relationship, approach to relating, etc. – may now be coming to fruition, culmination and/or ending. In case you’re having a hard time remembering 1995 (and, unlike me, you weren’t obsessively keeping journals that you can now revisit and feel mortified by): the Oklahoma City bombing happened on April 19 that year, Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees” and Alannis Morisette’s “You Oughta Know” were released, and “Toy Story” was the highest-grossing film.

For more insight into what this Lunar Eclipse means for YOU, find the house in your birth chart that contains 25 degrees Libra (and yes, everybody has Libra in their chart – read this post to find out how to find it). The areas of life signified by that house are where: change is brewing, volatile energy is erupting, and something from the past is coming to culmination, fruition or completion; where you’re being called to recalibrate your scales and return to dynamic balance; where awareness of and owning your projections can lead to deep healing and a greater sense of personal power.

– Emily Trinkaus

libra lunar eclipseCalling all priestesses! Want support for freeing yourself from codependence and unleashing your passionate, independent, authentic self? Join energy-healing genius Katie Todd and me next Monday (or enjoy the recording at your leisure) – we’ll be working with these powerful Lunar Eclipse energies in our fun and informative galactivation teleclass. All women are welcome, and you just need a phone to participate. Register by midnight Friday to be eligible to win a personalized priestess session on the call! Details here.

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28 Responses to Into the Shadow, Through the Portal – Pluto Stations Retrograde at the Libra Lunar Eclipse

  1. collectivus says:

    This was very helpful been dealing with a lot of these energies today. Thank you!
    Love and light

  2. I have discovered you recently and I just have to say how much I appreciate these posts. Your writing is beautiful and rich and the perspective is so illuminating and resonant. I am falling in love with Astrology and I look forward to the next post eagerly. Many thanks.

  3. Mariko says:

    Just wanted to add my appreciation to the chorus. 🙂 Shadow has been knocking at my door lately and it’s so helpful to have a resource to help me ask myself the vital questions and get the most out of the experience. This next eclipse is gonna be intense for me (sun exactly conjunct my AC, moon exactly conjunct Eros, Pluto exactly conjunct MC). I’m so grateful that people like you are sharing their insights.

    • emily says:

      Wow – sounds like a very personal Eclipse for you – wishing you much support and grace in your transformational journey. Happy that my insights are useful for you!

  4. lambness says:

    This is one of the most useful explanations of current astrological conditions that I have encountered. Thank you so much for your perspective!

  5. Mae says:

    This eclipse is right in the middle of my 27′ libra sun/21′ libra pluto conjunction. Im feeling a similar vibrational shift i did with last falls eclipses.
    The venus neptune conjuction is on my natal moon 10′ pisces (in 4th), what would that bring? Confusion? haha

    • emily says:

      Sounds like a very powerful eclipse for you personally, Mae… Maybe asking about how your emotional sensitivity (Pisces Moon) can support or get in the way of expressing your creative power (Sun-Pluto)? Boundary-setting to increase your creative power?

  6. alexandrahopeflood says:

    Brilliant and so of service, Emily!! THANK YOU!! Your posts always crystalize everythig perfectly. 🙂

  7. Nura says:

    I absolutely love your article. You have an amazing way of breaking down the planetary information with practical and applicable statements that I could apply and make sense of easily. I have studies and delved into astrology for a long time and your synthesis and interpretation of the planetary information is extremely thoughtful, insightful and deep. I also loved your vivid description of the shadows for some of these signs. Thanks for your great work… It is refreshing, exciting and practical !!!

  8. Digging up my journals from 19 years ago, that’s an interesting idea . . . with an eclipse 5 degrees from my natal Mars . . .

    • emily says:

      Yes – old journals are a great resource for astro-insights – would be interesting to see what was happening around Martian themes (desire, assertion, individuality…) back then and how that relates to now. Happy excavating!

  9. Lope says:

    I agree with others, your articulation of the astrological happenings is helpful.
    I’m curious, I looked up the 25 degree Libra, and it happens that this is the very degree my Sun is, what would that mean?

    • emily says:

      A Lunar Eclipse on your Sun puts YOU in the spotlight for the next 6 months. Could also be about an important work or creative project coming to fruition. What are you experiencing?

  10. Susan Buckingham says:

    Emily, I too am a recent “Lurker” of your site after a friend shared this post on FB. I have no knowledge of the stars, and in fact, rarely look up. But I was wondering, is it important to stay up and watch this event tonight? Or is it just important to be aware of activity in the sky and how it might manifest in one’s personal life?

    • emily says:

      hi Susan – You can tune into the Eclipse energy whether or not you see it personally, though it could be an interesting experience to watch, if you’ve never observed a Lunar Eclipse before. Thanks for lurking!

  11. Thank you, happy to have discovered your blog!


  12. Emily,
    Thank you for your insight, passion, and clarity. I especially value your constant reminder of “as without, so within”–that change is simultaneously happening in the world and in us, and that a key purpose of the spiritual growth available to us is to reclaim the health of the world, one another, along with ourselves.
    Sometimes I do take refuge in the not knowing, in the not doing (the small life, I call it). It too often feels as if I don’t have the energy to do more than repair and grow my own life. My experience of being energized when I reach out and support the world without (and others) is always a surprise. I get more sustenance, more spiritual vitamins, if you will, and I forget that. So thank you for the constant and important reminder that healing and learning ourselves is to make us fit for purpose, to be the spiritual activists so much needed now. Now, more than ever, it is time to get over our cheap selves, our small dreams, and take the blinders off and get to work.
    I’m swimming deep in the portal these days and (with a birthday coming up on April 22nd) simply trying to stay present, unafraid, and growing a ittle bit stronger.
    Thank you, and for all your gifts.

  13. carol says:

    “This is a time for invoking TRUST and COURAGE. Trusting the cycle of death and rebirth, trusting that there WILL be a rebirth, even if you’re currently stuck in the dark and the dying with no signs of new life. The courage to feel your intense feelings, shed another layer, and let go of what wants to end.”

    It isn’t being easy, as we say back in my homeland, and these words actually made me tear up a little. Thank you so much, Emily. Lots of love and lots of hugs to you, and light and peace to us all.

  14. Irena says:

    I’m in awe reading this, mouth agape, saying yeah, yeah and yeah…also a total novice to astrology but like Alison I’m falling in love reading this and other posts of yours. When I looked up 25 degrees Libra, as you suggest at the end that’s exactly the sun in my birth chart, at 25, in the 11th house which is community? I have to read up on this more as your teaser into it feels like a thread worth pulling. Any thoughts welcome.

  15. Tod says:

    I relate well to your writing and meaning in this post. As far as figuring out the house, I’m at a loss with my non- linear, un- rational, non- methodical mind, even with the picture. It might be in the first house? My right-brain thinker(as shown in my hands) is totally confused and frustrated. So I don’t ever know any further details( and most likely don’t need to know) of what house is effecting me.
    Love your writing, though.

  16. berkeley says:

    I’m another long-time lurker. Thanks so much for breaking it all down here 🙂
    The grand cross is sitting right on my AC, MC, DC & IC… if you have any insight into what that means for me I’d be grateful to hear it!

    • emily says:

      Since the astrology of now is so personal for you, I highly recommend getting a reading with a professional astrologer. Context is everything (i.e., the context of your entire chart, and the context of your actual life), so there isn’t much I could say generally speaking that would be useful for you (and, for I think obvious reasons, I can’t offer free personalized readings in my comments section…). If my readings are too expensive for you (and/or you don’t want to wait a month for an appointment), I can refer you to some former students of mine, who are great, and whose fees are lower. Please contact me if interested.

  17. “Eclipses stir up the past – people from your past can resurface, old issues come up for reassessment and healing.”

    If we are still triggered by something from the past now is the time to process it out. This can help heal the whole situation, I feel.

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